"Most organizations staff their problems & starve their opportunities." ~Peter Drucker
"Close scrutiny will show that most "crisis situations" are opportunities to either advance, or stay where you are." -Maxwell Maltz
Let’s be honest, you’re working your tail off to stay ahead of problems and deal with the problems that you couldn't get ahead of. You're also planning and creating initiatives to improve the business. This hustle and bustle might be keeping you so occupied that you miss out on some obvious opportunities.
So many times when one of our initiatives or solutions is a success we breathe a sigh of relief and move right back into our chaotic day to day routine to try to work towards the next success, but what about what had just happened? In your focus on problems and the future are you neglecting the past?
If you do something and it works, ask yourself if you can do it again
This seems obvious, but ask yourself how much you "double down" on your successes? Most leaders completely miss these opportunities. This came to mind for me during my time in the Hospitality Industry. We were anticipating a VERY busy week, with almost double the usual volume. What happened was that we sent people from Marketing, Sales, and other areas to the front line of the operation (we asked for volunteers so we got the right people) to direct traffic, answer basic questions and support the operation. It was a huge success, but we were about to let it go as a “once a year” sort of scenario until one manager asked “why don’t we do that every time we expect more business”? Simple logic, but everyone was missing it.
Successes are tough to find sometimes, so if one falls into your lap, see if you can leverage it again. The keys are:
- Notice the success – In the example above, we were all focused on “getting back to business” and normal operations. Only one of us identified the opportunity. The first key is to notice what is going on around you and what is working. I know you are supposed to be looking, but sometimes it’s not exactly where you are focused, so be sure you are surveying the entire scene.
- Does it need to be tweaked – Can the success be improved upon, or does it need an adjustment to mold itself into a repeatable process?
- Roll it out and observe – Sometimes the success was the result of something else, so be sure to observe it better the second time and see what can be learned and improved.
Whether it is the music playing in the background, the hours of operation, the color of your sales clerk’s uniforms, all that matters is that it works. So look for those opportunities, then immediately look to repeat them.
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